Highlights from Ten Years at The Nature of Cities – The Nature of Cities

As we work to heal the earth, the earth heals us. ― Robin Wall Kimmerer

The Nature of Cities was launched 10 years ago, in June 2012. I believe it has been a success, with over four million reads and around 1,000 contributors. I believe it has been valuable in framing and propelling dialogue in its promotion of collaboration and transdisciplinarity that are essential to cities that are better for both people and for nature; cities that are resilient, sustainable, livable, and just.

It is the long history of humankind (and animal kind, too) that those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed. — Charles Darwin

All four.

Not just the one or two we might pursue from the confines of one discipline, but all four, which can only achieved by reaching beyond the edges of our knowing to engage with someone else’s. Indeed, the wicked problems we so often talk about these days would seem to logically demand similarly rich approach to solutions — that is, transdisciplinary solutions that are as complex and nuanced as the problems.

The world is before you and you need not take it or leave it as it was when you came in. — James Baldwin

The three quotes you see to the right knit together, for me, a sense of we can achieve if we (1) seek inspiration in nature; (2) share, collaborate, and innovate with each other; and (3) are fierce with ourselves about the imperative of progress. These ideas have been driving forces in the ongoing evolution of TNOC.

We have published almost 1,300 essays and roundtables in these 10 years, and worked on a variety of projects. I believe that all work at TNOC has great value; the 30 pieces highlighted here represent a selection that were particularly widely read, singular, or key in some way. There are many others that could easily have made this list.

Onward and upward, we can hope. In our work we continue to seek the frontiers of thought and action found at the fizzy boundaries of science. practice, community, design, planning, infrastructure, and art.

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